Volume 94, Issue 62

Friday, January 12, 2000


London playwright wins Lottery

DJs spin for charity

Sad Rockets take off with new album

Maggie's more than crepes

The Friday Rant

Maggie's more than crepes

Beth Kerim/Gazette

Maggie's of London
478 Richmond Street

By Rebecca Morier
Gazette Staff

If you think you to have to be on the other side of the Atlantic to enjoy fine French cuisine, think again.

Maggies Of London, located at the heart of Richmond Row, is a classy, yet unpretentious, French restaurant (so be sure to leave those faux accents at home). With both lunch and dinner menus, an extensive and impressive beverage list and a variety of delectable desserts, Maggie's is an ideal spot for that business luncheon, special evening meal or after-theatre cocktail.

Upon entering the establishment, the first thing that captures the eye is the elegant décor of the spacious interior. In fact, it accommodates varying degrees of formality, with the option of an informal bar and couches or the more romantic candle-lit tables for two. Additionally, the staff is as inviting as the ambiance and are quite helpful.

For those debating between soup and salad, the Leek and Potato soup should be avoided – it's not as thick and hearty as the menu claims. Instead, opt for any one of the delicious salads. Notable is Maggie's Salad, which blends organic greens with fresh fruit and toasted almond slivers, and is dressed with a tangy strawberry vinaigrette.

Once the tastebuds are geared up, one is forced to be selective with the spread of savoury entrees. Specializing in crepes, Maggie's serves up a slew of the light, wafer-thin pancakes stuffed with more fillings than you can imagine. Two of the most popular are the Crepe Beef Stroganoff and the Crepe Chicken Madras, of which the former features sauteed beef tenderloin in a stroganoff sauce and the latter, chicken and mushrooms in a white wine cream sauce.

For vegetarians, there are various crepes to choose from, like the Crepe Florentine and the Crepe Ratatouille. One must be wary, though, of sauces accompanying both meat-filled and vegetarian crepes. Not only do they tend to be very buttery, but they threaten to drown the crepe and make it lose its airy lightness. Due to the richness and creaminess of the filling sauces, the buttery sauce often drizzled atop the crepes seems extraneous and can serve to throw off the balance of flavours of the fillings.

But don't feel limited; there is more on the menu than just crepes. Maggie's also has a variety of country French entrees, like the Entrecote aux Boeuf (a nine-ounce New York cut steak), Filet of Sole and Chicken Maintenon, which is a boneless chicken breast with mushrooms and artichokes in a glazed mornay sauce.

The best advice for a new Maggie's patrons is: Don't be afraid to ask! The staff is more than helpful in explaining the details of the dishes, so you don't need to have taken French 101 to enjoy the cuisine.

Bon appetit!

Quality of Cuisine - 3 stars

Bang for your Buck - 3 stars

Ambiance & Locale - 5 stars

Overall Rating - 3.5 stars

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